Word of the Day : March 6, 2019


adjective ay-bee-see-DAIR-ee-un


1 a : of or relating to the alphabet

b : alphabetically arranged

2 : rudimentary

Did You Know?

The history of abecedarian is as simple as ABC—literally. The term's Late Latin ancestor, abecedārius (which meant "alphabetical"), was created as a combination of the letters A, B, C, and D, plus the adjective suffix -arius; you can hear the echo of that origin in the pronunciation of the English term (think "ABC-darian"). In its oldest documented English uses in the early 1600s, abecedarian was a noun meaning "one learning the rudiments of something"; it specifically referred to someone who was learning the alphabet. The adjective began appearing in English texts a few decades after the noun.


The children recited an abecedarian chant, beginning with "A is for apple" and ending with "Z is for zebra."

"Aficionados of Sue Grafton's popular detective novels starring Kinsey Millhone will not be disappointed by S is for Silence, Grafton's 19th book in her abecedarian series launched in 1982 with A is for Alibi." — Jan Collins, The State (Columbia, South Carolina), 11 Dec. 2005

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete the name for an alphabetical list of all of the words in a book or in a set of works written by an author: c _ _ c _ r _ _ n _ e.



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